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Enterprise 2.0: What Really Changes?

by Maroushka Kanywani, Editor, Dashboard InsightTuesday, October 7, 2008

By Neil Raden, Intelligent Enterprise

I was on a panel at nGenera's (nee New Paradigm) Enterprise 2.0 get-together in Dallas last week. I missed the first day because I was speaking somewhere else and unfortunately missed listening to and meeting Ray Kurzweil, but the second day has some pretty good presentations by the nGenera staff, including Don Tapscott and my homey Nick Vitalari (it's amazing how you can live in a small town and only run into your neighbors at conferences).

This meeting is not to be confused with the much larger Enterprise 2.0 conference. The attendees are members of nGenera's network and gather a few times a year to listen to and present their progress on various research topics/projects at nGenera.

I was asked to be a part of a panel with people from Salesforce.com and Microsoft to discuss platforms for Enterprise 2.0. Luckily, it was in the afternoon, so I had a few hours to pick up on exactly what they meant by "Enterprise 2.0." Best Buy demonstrated a slew of applications ranging from a 401k site that pushed enrollment up sharply, and various internal blogs and wiki's used to "build community." Salesforce.com showed some clever SaaS applications they'd built and the presentation was pretty compelling. Microsoft talked about Sharepoint.

So what I picked up is that the idea of building community is pretty key, as well as understanding the changing sensitivities and work habits of the younger workforce (Best Buy has a huge workforce in the 16-25 bracket), something I wrote about a little while back. Salesforce.com is a different kind of company, and it's easy to see how this works for them. I think it's great, but do we need a community to make a journal entry, issue a PO or process an ATM transaction? Fortune 500 companies spend 75% of their budgets on maintenance and the bulk of that writing and maintaining interfaces between all of their (and their customer/supplier) applications. How will blogs, wikis and social networking solve that problem?

I think these Web 2.0 applications expand but do not replace existing applications. That raises a serious question. Where do people find the time to use social networking on top of their already jammed schedules? What do you think?

About the Author

Neil Raden is a consultant and analyst and a partner and co-founder of Smart (enough) Systems LLC, a research and advisory firm specializing in analytics, business Intelligence and decision management. He is also the co-author of the book "Smart (Enough) Systems." Write him at neil@smartenoughsystems.com.

Source: Intelligent Enterprise

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